Dig Baton Rouge

The Sports Troll: Well, that accelerated quickly…

In Louisiana, folks are getting ready for Tropical Storm Cindy – a minor weather event, which will cause heavy rains and wind throughout the next few days.

Up in Omaha, the LSU baseball team endured a storm of its own on Monday night – a perfect storm named the Oregon State Beavers.

Literally everything that could go wrong did go wrong for the LSU baseball team last night.

The score on the scoreboard sort of reflected that phenomenon.

The Beavers are not invincible. They can be beaten.

But not by a team playing at half-speed with B-list relievers after its starting pitcher goes down to injury.

Once Eric Walker got hurt, the game ended for the Tigers.

Caleb Gilbert was fine in relief, but having to put him into the game that early accelerated the speed of play too much for LSU to handle.

I didn’t like the way LSU played on Monday.

They fell behind early and then had selfish at-bats.

Against a crafty, soft-tossing pitcher, everyone was too hungry for home runs and doubles when they should have been fishing for base hits.

Once Gilbert left the game, Paul Mainieri did a poor job getting the ball to Hunter Newman too late, instead opting for B-list relievers who we hadn’t seen in significant action in quite a while.

I understand the desire to save Newman for later in the game, but what’s the use of having a fresh arm if the score is out of reach?

The move didn’t make sense then and it doesn’t make sense now and the Beavers pounded LSU into submission because of it.

With the loss, the Tigers are now playing for their season – first against Florida State tomorrow and, if successful, against the Beavers.

Except this time, they’ll need to beat those guys twice.

I don’t see it happening.

But what do I know?

I didn’t see this team making it to this point, either.

They’ve obviously proven me wrong before.

On a more positive note, I think Jared Poche’ matches up well with Florida State’s lineup, and I think the Tigers have a solid shot to beat the Seminoles tomorrow.

Poche’ pitched against those guys in relief on Saturday night, earning the win.

LSU’s significant bullpen arms are mostly rested, so Poche’ needs to give LSU roughly just five or so innings of quality work.

From there, I expect to see Newman and Hess working double-duty to try and finish the job.

We’ll take questions tomorrow.

Can’t wait to see what you all have to say!


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